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Donna L. Halper

rabbi, educator, and one of America's best-known black Jews, was born Capers Charles Funnye Jr., in Georgetown, South Carolina, to Charles Funnye Sr. and Verdelle (Robinson), native South Carolinians. Raised in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Funnye (pronounced fah-NAY) nearly attended the seminary to become a minister. He grew up on Chicago's South Side, where his parents had moved when he was a child, and he saw the effects of segregation firsthand. After Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated he wanted to do something to change society and fight racism In his senior year in high school a pastor he respected suggested that he would make a good minister and for a time he seriously considered it But he had been having doubts about Christianity and embarked on a search for the right spiritual path Ultimately he encountered members of a sect called the ...